One of my favorite features in the Washington Monthly was called “Tidbits and Outrages.” Here’s one for the outrage file: In addition to their salaries, California legislators collect $141 a day, seven days a week, in tax-free per diem so long as they don’t go more than three days between floor sessions. That’s why they usually meet on Mondays and Thursdays. The exception is holiday weeks – like this one – when a quick Friday session ensures that per diem payments continue through the three-day weekend. Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee reports that the state Senate met today for a grand total of 20 minutes. The Assembly also was gone by noon. One important piece of business was accomplished: putting $420 in legislators’ pockets for President’s Day weekend.
– Jim Sweeney